Ellington residents approve funding for turf field

Voters approve funding for a turf field in Ellington (WFSB).

The New England patriots have it, so do the New York Giants. And tonight, the path is paved for Ellington High to replace their grass turf with an artificial one. After weeks of debate, hundreds of voters made their voices heard.

Families in Ellington care about high school sports and their tax dollars. That was evident as more than 500 lined up and packed Ellington's high school auditorium tonight.

The debate is over replacing this grass field, which some players call lumpy and dangerous, with artificial turf, like this, one that's filled with recycled tires. Critics say it too, is potentially dangerous and costly.

The entire project is expected to cost $2.6 million. Earlier this year, the town's Planning and Zoning committee rejected a one million dollar grant from the state for this project and tonight's vote was to overturn that decision.

By a 300-205 vote, it was.

Cyndi Costanzo has been leading the push for the artificial turf.

"This town, the voters, are energized by this issue and I think that message will move forward to the Board of Finance to say this should move on.," Costanzo said.

T.J. Kloter, a recent Ellington high graduate and former soccer player doesn't want his alma mater to make the switch.

"Money doesn't come out of nowhere and I think there's other things the money can be spent on. I understand there's a grant for it, but there's a lot of money still left that has to be paid and it's going to be paid by taxes, eventually," Kloter told Eyewitness News Thursday.

Again, the path has been paved for another town wide vote in November, but critics could stall that if they wanted. They would need to gather hundreds of signatures for a petition.

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